I've made no secret since starting this blog that I depart from Conservative orthodoxy on several issues; one of these is the 2nd Amendment. While it is the law of the land and as such, worthy of respect, I have always considered it a quaint relic of colonial life and due for some much needed "updating". As a good Conservative, I do not wish to see that "updating" occur in the courts or in the legislatures, but in the Constitutionally mandated manner in which that document is caused to be altered.
So here's an interesting case. Apparently Senator John Thune (R-SD) has put forward legislation that will create a national standard (read--superior to any and all state law created) for concealed weapons carrying permits. I do not support this legislation, and I agree with the Washington Post that it should be opposed.
The right to keep and bear arms--like freedom of speech and assembly--is not absolute, and the case law on this is not in dispute. The states may indeed place reasonable restrictions on who can own guns, where they can carry them, and how they must be disposed of--among other things. Creation of a national standard for concealed carry pre-supposes that all states support concealed carry. And they don't. Additionally, the creation of a national standard is a direct assault on another cherished Conservative principle--equally well-enshrined in our Constitution--that of Federalism. The several states are not potted plants; there are facets of legislative inquiry that are solely theirs, and others they share with the national legislature. A national standard removes from the legislative bodies closer to the people the right/duty to regulate what is essentially a public safety issue--not a constitutional rights issue.
This bill is a simply bit of red meat thrown to those who characteristically support untrammeled and unregulated exercise of 2nd Amendment rights...but it makes little sense and ought to be opposed out of hand.